The Yakkun Nattannawa was translated by way of ascertaining the sentiments and usages of the Singalese in their system of demonology and is submitted to the public in order to promote correct views on the subject, and to stimulate to missionary exertion. The Translator gratefully acknowledges the liberality of the Oriental Translation Committee, to whom this and the following poem were presented as an expression of interest in their proceedings, and under whose auspices they now appear.
Prevalent as devil-worship is among Brahminists and Budhists, it should be distinguished from planet-worship and masquerades. The ceremonies and songs relating to the former are contained in a large volume, in which directions are given for worshipping the planets, the Zodiac, and five thousand five hundred stars. That system pretends to avert the influence of the planets as indicated by astrology ; and is called Bali Arinnawa. They are represented by figures in relievo, mostly in the human form, wrought in a striking manner on a screen of split bamboo ten or twelve feet square.
Happily, theHappily, thehistory and doctrine of Budhism are popularly illustrated by Mr. Upbam in his valuable work on that subject ; in whicCh alsoare Notices of the Capuism or Demon-worship, and of theBali or planetary incantations of Ceylon ; embellished with fortythreelithographic prints from original Cingalese designs. Thecontents are founded principally on manuscripts and drawingsin the collection of Sir Alexander Johnston, late President ofHis Majesty's Council and Chief Justice of Ceylon, to whomthe volume is handsomely dedicated, whose interest in everything connected with Oriental literature cannot be estimatedtoo highly, and whose plan for the emancipation of slaves inthat island deserves universal adoption. Seldom do we observean inquiry so abstruse, antique, and multifarious, conductedwith such acuteness and judgment. The reader will findhimself entertained and instructed in the most delightful manner,and rise from the perusal of the work with quickenedsympathy for the miseries of the three hundred millions whofollow such awful delusions, and renewed thankfulness for theblessings of the Christian revelation.